Retired BYU professor discusses the importance of The Book of Revelation at Education Week

Richard D. Draper talks about the role of Babylon the Great during education week on Friday, Aug. 25. Draper highlighted the role God will play in preventing the wicked from destroying the righteous in the latter-days. (Ethan Porter)

Richard D. Draper, a retired ancient scripture professor from BYU, discussed the importance of The Book of Revelation for Latter-day Saints during Education Week on Friday, Aug. 25.

His lecture focused on Babylon the Great and God’s role in stopping its efforts.

According to Draper, Babylon the Great is an individual or group of people who try to seduce others using false philosophies and theology. He said Babylon the Great promotes materialism and uses people as livestock to be bought, used up and discarded.

“God created people to be loved and everything else to be used. Babylon turns that upside down, causing people to love things and to use people,” Draper said.

Draper said the devil subtly changes God’s doctrine to influence what is most important in a world that increasingly prioritizes resources over human life.

According to Draper, Babylon the Great creates artificial needs, which become the purpose of life for all those who come under its influence. By distorting the needs of individuals influenced by Babylon the Great, they lose sight of the ultimate concern in life, Draper said.

“The ultimate concern is that which you would sacrifice everything for,” Draper said.

According to Draper, Christianity is the ultimate concern because it promises to pay back the most for your sacrifice. Unlike Christianity, Babylon the Great’s philosophy is motivated by pride and selfishness, Draper said.

He said that selfishness and pride prevent individuals from the ability to heal and repent from their sins.

“If they can’t have the earth, God’s not going to have the earth either, and therefore what they will do is turn it into a radioactive cinder. That’s their objective,” Draper said.

Draper then quoted 1 Nephi 22:16, which states: “For the time soon cometh that the fulness of the wrath of God shall be poured out upon all the children of men; for he will not suffer that the wicked shall destroy the righteous.”

“Notice we do not have to fear the fire, if it comes it will be directed by God,” Draper said.

According to Draper, God does not act in retaliation or revenge, and he does not intend to inflict suffering or pain for the sake of suffering or pain.

“He actually moves against Babylon to avenge his Saints and to bring about justice,” Draper said.

According to event participant Bob Case, the knowledge of God’s direction helps bring him peace.

“God is in charge, he knows what’s going on, and you don’t need to worry so much … everything is going to be alright,” Case said.

Donna Overly-Harrison, who participated in the event, said she trusts in the Lord’s plans for the Saints in the latter days.

“I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen, but I do think Saints are going to be okay if they stay on the covenant path,” Overly-Harrison said.

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